Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is a shining example of the dirty relationship between the regulators and the regulated. When the president came out and defended him publicly, I heard the bell tolling in the distance. He could be the first Obama appointee to be hypovehiculated (thrown under the bus) after Senate confirmation. As the previous "bailouts" and other deals are examined, it seems that Sec. Geithner was deeply involved, as head of the NY Federal Reserve during the Bush administration.
An excerpt from Newt Gingrich's latest dispatch explains it best: (link)
As Americans' level of outraged has risen, so has the level of finger pointing by Geithner and others for the mess we're in.
But Treasury Secretary Geithner is disingenuous at best and untruthful at worst when he says that he "inherited the worst fiscal situation in American history."
The truth is that Secretary Geithner didn't inherit the policy of throwing billions of taxpayer dollars at failing companies - he helped create it.
Even before he was Treasury Secretary - when he was still head of the New York Federal Reserve - Geithner was so deeply involved in the government's bail out of Bear Stearns, its take over of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and its bailout of AIG that this was the Washington Post's headline from September 19, 2008:
"In the Crucible of Crisis, Paulson, Bernanke and Geithner Forge a Committee of Three".
The first meeting of the first bailout - of Bear Stearns - was held in Geithner's office. And the first meeting of what has become a $170 billion bailout of AIG was held - where else? In Geithner's New York Fed office.
Besides being parodied on SNL, he is rapidly becoming an embarassment for the Obama administration. This AIG "bonus" scandal is erupting all around him. He supposedly found out about these bonuses in the last few weeks, but they were disclosed in public filings late last year. Did he, or his staff review all of the public information about the company they were bailing out? Apparently not, if he didn't know about the bonuses until last week.
As for the aforementioned "dirty relationship," read this article from Conde Nast's Portfolio.com, dated June '08. "The Man Who Saved (or Got Suckered by) Wall Street," by Gary Weiss. I won't excerpt it here because of the length, but it shows the incestuous relationship between government and the financial institutions it regulates, specifically involving Mr. Geithner. (link)
When President Bush said "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job" after Katrina, he was lambasted by everyone. Has President Obama already put himself in a similar position with Sec. Geithner? Only time will tell, but I'd save any new dollars with his signature on them. They'll be collector's items someday.